Native to the Indian and Pacific oceans these venomous lionfish have found in the Atlantic Ocean too where they are an invasive species. Lionfish have adapted to become strong hunters and if lions are the king of the jungle the lionfish may have a right to the crown of king of the coral reef.

Volitan Lionfish utilise their bilateral swim bladder muscles to control their position in the water which can help them to manoeuvre effectively around their prey. They can spread their pectoral fins open wide and trap in smaller fish.  Once trapped they are able to swallow these small reef fish in a single motion.  To help confuse and control their prey they will shoot out jets of water from their mouth.  To help fend off any bigger predators the tips of their sharp fins are laced with venom which can be fatal to any animal pricked by them.  Their bright red and white striped bodies make them very visible and photogenic.

Lionfish can often be seen swimming upside down they have high control over their swim bladder and easily switch between up right and inverted swimming whereas most fish can not flip back if they are turned upside down.


Fish: venomous predator

What do they eat?

Small fish, mollusks, and invertebrates


Max 45cm

Water Type

Salt Water

Where are we?

Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean

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